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Laptop Restore?

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by grap3fruitman, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. So I've got someone's laptop and they want me to get it back to factory settings after they installed another OS. So store bought PCs these days have recovery partitions instead of discs and I can confirm the partition is there and untouched, I can't seem to boot into the recovery process. One of the options at start-up is to hit F11 for system recovery, when I do that it just boots into the current OS like I didn't do anything. Booting into the bios works just fine, so I'm not sure what's wrong with this. Any suggestions?

    Thought it may have just been the F11 key on the latptop keyboard but a USB keyboard gives me the same results. Ffff...
  2. Okay, so... the recovery software runs inside of Windows? What's the fucking point of recovery software if you have to boot and have it installed in the OS in the first place? Is that not completely retarded? Might as well just make a folder on the driver than creating a separate partition.

    Idiots... Found a download to the HP Recovery manager software and I'm gonna try installing that and running it since the recovery partition is still there.
  3. Okay, that download didn't work. Won't let me restore the partition I want but now I can't boot into regular Windows. Argh!
  4. Thorn


    Tech Member
    Sonic 2 Retro Remix
    Forgive my stereotypically wrong retail computer salesman knowledge here.

    With many newer laptops, you're "expected" (read: they know you won't) to burn recovery discs before doing anything major with the laptop using a recovery disc creator program preinstalled on the machine. You could try slapping whoever this "someone" is that you refer to with a large trout. On new HP machines it's pretty easy to see, too; this someone can't say they didn't notice it in the Start Menu at least once, and if not, all you have to do is type "recovery" after clicking start to get to it. If you *really* get stuck, someone might find it worth fronting the $25 to HP to have the discs shipped to you instead of shelling out money on a new machine, depending on its age.
  5. What's the point then of the recovery partition and a recovery option on the boot-up screen?
  6. HighFrictionZone


    Hi. Member
    Katy, Texas
    Have you tried using a super grub boot disk to chainload into the recovery partition?
    Instructions here.
    Simply download and boot from the Super Grub Bootdisk and follow the linked instructions. Boot from the recovery partition, and the recovery partition should take over automatically. You may, however, have to try a couple of times to get the right partition.
  7. Sappharad


  8. HighFrictionZone


    Hi. Member
    Katy, Texas
    That might just work. But if it doesn't, before giving up, I really would suggest using a grub boot disk to chainload directly into the recovery partition. As long as the recovery partition is still there, chain-loading into it from grub will work and it will boot it. I cannot tell you how many recovery partitions I have booted using a thumbdrive with grub on it. (Technically, it has a full linux install I use to recover data before wipe). I use the grub bootloader and just rootnoverify (hd0,X), chainloader +1, makeactive, boot

    Nine times out of ten, this lets me boot the recovery partition. That tenth time was because I was dumb and used the wrong partition.

    Anyways, if the partition is not damaged in any way and is still bootable this is guaranteed to work, though it might be a more complex method.
  9. CraigRobbo


    As mentioned abve, around 99% of laptops with a recvery partition will have a 'super key' to enable yu to go into the partition before windows boots.
    On my old Vaio it was F10 just after the Vaio boot screen.

    if you still have the manual have a look and see what the 'super key' is.

    I have a feeling it also maybe F11 but if you repeatdly press it during start up I am sure you will get it at the right point eventually.

    Hope this helps.

  10. MissHanaki


    I once screwed up my laptop and I couldn't even get to my Desktop. My extra partition had a backup of the system files, because it backs them up every so often. I turned on my computer and pressed whatever key it was to go into settings or options or whatever. I found restore from System Restore Point somewhere in there and it restored all the system files.

    I dunno if you can do this with all laptops, but you can on my Windows 7 HP laptop.

    Hope that this helped.
  11. Chimera


    I'm not a furry. Tech Member
    Castlevania prettyness
    This may be a few months old, but... o.o

    I assume you already fixed the laptop issue but for future reference, if you wanted to reset a laptop to its factory settings, I'd grab a CD-R and burn a copy of a Linux distro like Ubuntu or (preferably) Parted Magic and delete the Windows partition. That should just basically wipe absolutely everything so when you eject the CD and put in the windows installation, you should be good.

    Hope that helps for any future problems.
  12. HighFrictionZone


    Hi. Member
    Katy, Texas
    Since you bumped a couple-month old topic, I will go on the record stating that - while I heartily endorse linux and recommend it whenever reasonable to do so - your suggestion is flat out irresponsible. The best situation you could do is to purchase an external hard drive and back up your internal hard drive to the external. All recent versions of windows come with a built in backup program which can AND SHOULD be used to great effect. The Windows Install CD comes with the capability to restore such backups.

    Telling somebody to delete parttitions and reinstall is irresponsible because not everybody knows what the hell a partition is - and (at any rate) might not actually have the drivers for their hardware anymore.

    Further, using the built-in recovery partition to restore it to factory default settings is always the preferred option.

    But yeah, if it's totally shot and you have no backups and no recovery partition, I guess using a Linux live CD to nuke the partition and then using a Windows install disk to install a plain copy of windows would, technically, work. It's just by the time they get to that point, the average user is already in over their head.
  13. TmEE


    Master of OPL3-SA2/3 Tech Member
    Estonia, Rapla City
    T-04YBSC-A !
    I would just delete the recovery partition and use a real windows CD/DVD to install the OS... no bloatware etc. Setback is that you're likely to go driver hunting. Word of advice : do not type "drivers" into google search, type "support" instead for the laptop model otherwise you end up in some bogus site with nothing but ads. In case of HP craptops, use the model number on the HP Service Tag instead of one on the screen etc.
  14. I don't remember what happened but if it were my personal computer, I would be doing a fresh install. This was someone else's (I don't even remember who now) and they just wanted it back to stock. TmEE, you only get the option to buy a recovery disc these days.
  15. Mad Echidna

    Mad Echidna

    Gone Oldbie
    A couple years ago, I called Dell and got an American. He was a nice guy and even though my laptop was like years out of warranty, he sent me the XP install disc for free, and even overnighted it!

    Now when I call, I get people in India reading a script. I don't care what nationality you are, but I call to seek the help of an intelligent person, not an actor following a script.